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Bulletin - March/ April 2009
Folk, Ethnic & World Music
Malicorne ->
Various Artists




FRANCE MALICORNE Griffe 191272 Almanach $17.98
13 tracks, 49 mins, essential
Available again on a new label and at a lower price. The French band Malicorne was possibly the best traditionally oriented folk-rock band ever and this 1976 recording was their best. It consists of a series of 12 traditional songs, one for each month of the year, most of them with a magical theme. The singing led by Gabriel Yacoub and his powerful distinctive baritone is complemented by his wife Marie's fragile soprano and when the rest of the group join in on the vocal harmonies the effect is spine chilling. The instrumental work is spellbinding using acoustic and electric instruments and weaving them together in a complex interplay of sounds to create powerful and tremendously beautiful music. All this comes over with crystal clarity on this CD. On Les Tristes Noces when the electric bass comes in to join Gabriel and Marie's unaccompanied vocals the sound reverberated through my spine! This album is one of the greatest folk albums of the 70s and quite deservedly won "Grand Prix" from the Academie Du Disque Francais. The beautiful cover illustration by Laurent Lesserre prepares you for the treasures within and the 12 page booklet has notes on all the songs by Gabriel (in French) and all the lyrics. An all time classic! (FS)

AFRICA-NIGERIA CHIDINMA OKAFOR Arc Music 2186 Modern Gospel From West Africa $14.98
10 tracks, 54 mins, highly recommended
Gorgeous collection of gospel music featuring one of Nigeria's most popular vocalists accompanied vocally by a six member group who provide spellbinding harmonies that bring to mind the gospel music of South Africa. They are accompanied by a band with lovely skittering guitar sounds, kora, keyboards and more. Includes booklet with notes on the artist and songs in English, German, French and Spanish. Lovely stuff.

AFRICA-MALI TINARIWEN World Village 468067 Aman Iman: Water Is Life $19.98
12 tracks, 54 mins, highly recommended
Recorded in 2006 and released in 2007, this third album by Mali group Tinariwen has a mesmerizing pull to it that is evident from the first track. The traditional music of the Touareg people shows strong similarities to Algerian and Moroccan music in rhythmic structure, and there is a melodic sensibility that is European in manner. Joyous is a word that comes to mind when listening to this music, but there's also hints of moodiness too around the edges. Western listeners used to blues and gospel can certainly relate to this music, even if one can't understand the words. The guitar playing alone is worth the price of admission. (GMC)

AFRICA-NIGERIA VARIOUS ARTISTS Savannahphone AF 10 Awon Ojise Olorun: Popular Music In Yorubaland 1931-52 $13.98
19 tracks, 54 mins, highly recommended
As a sort of companion to Delta Dandies (Savannahphone 011), Awon Ojise Olorun covers more music from early to mid-20th century Nigeria, this time focusing on the Yoruba people. Taken from the British Library, these recordings--made at the beginnings of the Nigerian recording industry--sample the sakara music of Yoruba Muslims, the guitarists of Lagos, and show us the origins of apala percussion groups. But more importantly, these recordings also paint a picture-through the translated lyrics-of the musical life of the Yoruba, while living under British rule. (GMC)

AFRICA-NIGERIA VARIOUS ARTISTS Savannahphone AF 11 Delta Dandies: Dance Bands In Nigeria, 1936-1941 $13.98
16 tracks, 46 mins, highly recommended
Highlife, a popular style of guitar and horn-based dance music, had its roots in the Nigerian dance band music of the 30's and 40's. This compilation attempts to collect songs that were influential to the later highlife bands. The orchestras recorded here often used mandolins, along with guitars, and substituted other instruments-such as fifes and percussion-for brass instruments, which were often hard to come by. In some ways, this makes the dance music sound a lot like British skiffle, particularly with the use of homemade instruments, and it has the same kind of unaffected charm that's characteristic of its British cousin. Anyone familiar with highlife, should find this CD of special interest; and even if you've never heard of highlife, this album is yet another priceless look into music history. (GMC)

JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS VP Records 4100 Randy's 50th Aniversary $25.98
2 CD, 1 DVD, 50 tracks, essential
"Randy" was the nickname of Vincent Chin, founder of Randy's Record shop and VP Records, who became a pioneer in the world of ska and reggae music. This set chronicles his story through liner notes and 50 tracks that formed the backbone of Chin's empire. The first disc covers the early to mid-60's, while the second highlight's tracks recorded at Chin's studio, located upstairs over the record store. Among the artists touched by Chin are Alton Ellis, The Maytals, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Augustus Pablo, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Big Youth, and I-Roy. The DVD features artist interviews, rare footage, photos, and more. A truly landmark collection. (GMC)
CHARLIE ACE & DIRTY HARRY: Country Boy/ THE AFRICAN BROTHERS: Hold Tight/ ROLAND ALPHONSO & JOANNE GORDON: Blow Roland Blow/ ALTON & EDDIE: Let Me Dream/ HORACE ANDY: Don't Go/ BIG YOUTH: Knotty No Jester/ BLACK UHURU: Going to Zion/ BABA BROOKS: Portrait of My Love/ DELROY BYFIELD: Yagga Yagga/ JUNIOR BYLES: King of Babylon/ CORNELL CAMPBELL: Make Hay/ DONOVAN CARLESS: Be Thankful/ Be Thankful/ CHARLIE ORGANAIRE: Royal Charlie/ COUNT MACHUKI: Warfare/ DON DRUMMOND: Machine Shop/ ERROL DUNKLEY: Created by the Father/ ALTON ELLIS: Mouth a Massy/ Too Late to Turn Back Now/ HORTENSE ELLIS: Woman of the Ghetto/ ALTON ELLIS & JOHN HOLT: Rum Bumpers/ THE ETHIOPIANS: True Man/ NORMA FRASER & LORD CREATOR: We Will Be Lovers/ BASIL GABBIDON: Goodbye Pretty Darling/ THE GAYLADS: Wha She Do Now/ THE GLADIATORS: Race/ THE HEPTONES: My Guiding Star/ JOHN HOLT & THE HEPTONES: For the Love of You/ THE IMPACT ALL-STARS: End Dust/ Ordinary Version 3/ GREGORY ISAACS: Lonely Soldier/ J-ROY: Hospital Trolley/ HUBERT LEE: Something on Your Mind/ JIMMY LONDON: Little Love/ LORD CREATOR: Don't Stay out Late/ Independent Jamaica/ Such Is Life/ CARL MALCOLM: Fattie Bum Bum/ No Jestering/ BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: Sugar Sugar/ THE MAYTALS: John & James/ AUGUSTUS PABLO: Java/ LLOYD PARKS: Ordinary Man/ KEITH POPPIN: Righteous Man/ RICO RODRIQUEZ: Rico Special/ ROY & PAULETTE: Since You're Gone/ SENYA: Children of the Ghetto/ THE SKATALITES: Malcolm X/ STRANGER & KEN: Home Home Home/ PETER TOSH: You Can't Fool Me Again

EUROPE-MISCELLANEOUS VARIOUS ARTISTS Wergo 1626 Patchwork Europe - Early Recordings $24.98
26 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
This collection presents a diverse selection of traditional European folk music from different countries-ranging from Ireland to Norway to Portugal to Russia-recorded between the years 1911 and 1954. Celtic reels from Scotland, Fado music from Portugal, Hardanger fiddle music from Norway, and Flamenco singing from Spain are just a few of the sounds to be sampled here. Once again, the Weltmusik Wergo label from Germany has given us unique insight into Old World music history. (GMC)


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